Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  June 7, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

11:00 pm
>> rose: welcome to our program, from washington, chancellor has come to meet with president obama. we will talk about the german relationship and what the means for europe. >> we were bound to go through a difficult pa and readjust this relationship to the post cold war era, 20 years after the fall of the wall, we're not really sure whether the transatlantic partnership is as important and necessary to our security interests as we did when there was the threat of a soviet invasion much western europe so i think we're going through this readjustment phase. as i pointed out in the outset, the breadth and depth of the economic ties are so strong that i think we will survive this and come out with a pretty good relationship. and from "the wall street
11:01 pm
journal," our frid wter mossberg stops by to talk about the icloud and steve jobs. >> i think we're firmly in the post pc areaand not just because of the icloud announcement but because of the devices many of us are carrying are now pc's and replace what we used to could with traditional pc's. >> w conclude with january gee scott who has written a bk about barack obama's mother and joseph lelyveld who wrote about mahatma gandhi. >> she wrote about the woman that would later become president and she produced someone who is in the middle in thvery frontf our consciousness w. so she was a gre subject. >> h turned the indian national movement from an elite kind of discussion group of lawyers into a mass movement and did that with remarkable speed but he
11:02 pm
also tried to graft on the ideas of social quality as it applied to the relations between hindus and muslims as it applied to the whole questions of cast and untoughabilityn to the national movement and with that he was less successful. >> the u.s.-chairman relaonships, the icloud, mahatma gandhi and president obama's mother, when we contue. fund are for charlie rose was provided by the following: a. or the midnight oil is burned. or when someone chases a eam,ot just a dollar. they are smallsiness owne. so if you wanna root for a real hero, support small business. shop small.
11:03 pm
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: chairman chancellor arrived this week for a series of meeting with president obama and this comes amid questions for the ansatlantic relationship. two have different views over libya and the debt crises. spoking today they emphasissed a cooperation between their two countries. >> on the international stagetht coordinate closely with germany. and our work in afghanistan and
11:04 pm
our work together with nato, the approach that have taken with respec to the middle east and th arabs, our developmt issues and how we help the poorest countries find their place in the international economy, the are all ing to be areas where, i think, the leadership will be welmed. >> it's also impoant in this context and that's an approach that we both share, bark and i and thats that we need to combine military and civil engagement. so i think we live up to a high international responsibility. the word is full of problems that we need to address. that's a reality. and you cannot have enough partners that work together with you in a coordinated way and this is why this cooperation is so extremely important for our common future. >> tons, chairman mirkel and a
11:05 pm
state house dinner and the highest civilian honor will be given. joining us, charles kupchan and william drozdiak president of the american councilon germa. >> the country has a very strong relationship. miles per hours invest about five times as much as they do in china and indiathan germany alone and cpanies like siemens employ like 60,000 so the economic level is built up but politically there ar dferent gments over the libya condoleezza rice and the global economy. >> so what might come out of this meeting beten the chancellor and the present. >> well, i think that the fact thathe president is bestowing this highestedal of honor to the chancellor suggests that he
11:06 pm
sees her as his principal partner in europe for the next couple of years so they really want to come together more and more in terms of a common vision of how europe and the united states together can deal with all of these problems around the world because it truly is a global agenda d also to reassert the transatlantic partnership given the rise of -- >> and germany's economy today, how is it? >> germany's economy has been doing very well. it's the bright spot of the european union, their industria production is good, growth is good, and it's strange that the economy is doing well, unmoment is down but her polnumbers are sagging. >> why is that. >> she comes to washington at a curious time as chanceor. she has been in a political drift would be the bt way to put it, that consists of three decisions that haven'tone over well. one washe delay, the
11:07 pm
postponement and reluctance to bail out greece and she appeared to be someone that was listening to the pubc and not leading the public, germans saying why should we be the ones to bail out greece. second there was a reversal on nuclear energy. after japan and -- she said we will keep our reactors in the 2032 and then said we wil close them in 2022, trying to take votes from the green party. then libya comes along, obama reluctantly says yes and then mirk el votes to about taken. >> why did she do that? her diplomats and most of the people around her were saying don't do that, you know, you may not like the war but at least go along for the ride and then keep your head down. and from what we know, it was a political calculation. she was trying to tap in to the
11:08 pm
antiwar sentiment that is still strong because of eeg receive of world war ii but it appears she miscalculated because i think a lot of german voters are saying wheres the leader? is anybody home? and mirkel now comes to washington after five or six set backs in regional elections and nowrails the opposition, the social democrats and the greens by double digits now in the pos. >> she also lost her defense minister, wasn't it? a popular figure. >>ight. paul geuten berg over a personal andal involvi plagiarism over his ph.d. and heas t be the next rising star to succeed her. >> where does s stand in terms of what might happen to the euro. >> as charlie said, i think the fact that she deatherred over what to do in tms of salvaging the euro has hurt her political
11:09 pm
standing not just in germany but around europe. it reflects her personality shoo. he is more of a tactical person and not a visionary and has even been criticized by chancer saying germany needs strong leadership to take euro out of this and hers say germany has taken a great leap forward in bailing out greece and reasserting the primary leadersh to taking europeo a more united and integrated state. >> what is going to happen to greece? >> i think in the end that will have to accept some kind of restructuring, that those who hold the bond and the banks are gog to have to accept these loes. they have been kicking this can down the road. but at a certain point they're going to have to resolve this. otherwise the european financial system is going to have a crises that somesay could rifle the
11:10 pm
lehman brothers. >> agree? >> basically agree. necessity in t of the day sarkozy and others will do what is necessary to save europe because it's too central to save. but it's not so muchwhether the euro will unravel but whether the polical cost of the bailout and of the debate about the richer countries and the poorer countries is going to come at the cost of the european project. if you look at the last three, four, five years, y see the renationalization of europe. politics has been drifting down from brussells back to the nation state and that is, i ink, raises questions about whether we're hitting the high watermark of european immigration. i don't think anybody knows the answer to that yet but the fact th one is even debating that question. >> the question i had about whether some countries might be peeling off from the euro --
11:11 pm
>> i think that would be difficult. but again you know, it's hard to see how grce, even spain, portugal and ireland can accept the kind of posteritythat would beequired other the next five years to stay within the euro zone so at some point there's going to be a real crunch. and that's going to call int questi the whole future or vision of how europe will be organized. we have bigr issues down the road such as what to do about turkey. turkey is asserting itself as a new regional power and the negotiations havestalled to answer the european union. but. >> because turkey has not met the examines or because there's more resistance to turkey? >> a bit of both. >> turkly under the prime minister who will face an election on june 12. >> which he will win easily. >> he will win easily. the yes is the size of his majority and where he moves to a presidential system that will create even greater strength for
11:12 pm
him. >> and greater opportunity for him to stay in power. >> exactly. bu the resistance in europe, particularly france and germany and elsewhere, seeing europe go too far, and indeed the gern constitutional court has said no further in terms of integraon toward the united states and europe. >> this was in -- germans and the united states have ner stood further apart during america el's two terms ast this moment. berlin extension u.n. security vote to impose no-fly zone and also the economic policies lookg at things from the opposite standing obama's standing took a hit on jerl man circumstances. he is viewed as a parent who failed to deliver on lofty announcements. and america el does not have faith he can solve the world's problems. the greatest thingthey have in common is their mutual -- what
11:13 pm
would you say? >> there is disenchantment with the relationship but we were bound to go through a difficult patch and try to readjust this to the post cold war era. 20 years after the fall of the wall we're not sure whether the ansatlantic partnersh is as important and necessary to our security measures as we did when there was the threat of a soviet invasion of western europe. so i think we're going through th readjustment phase. as i pointed out in the outset, the breadth and depth of the economic ties are so strong that i think we will survive this and come out with a pretty good relationship in the end. >> beyond sovereign debt what is the most important need europe has, the sovereign debt crises? >> i would say to have polical momentum restored to the nation states and to the european project. >> does the european proje have life? >> it has a life but toys now
11:14 pm
treading water. i doesn't have wind in its sails. coming back to the quote that you ju read i don't think the united states and germany are further apart than they have been in the past. i think the problem is that you don't have leadership in the rope andhe united stes has deficits, people are tires of the wars if iraq and afghanistan and poob has in me sense rediscovered europe. that's why he spent a week there last month. and mirk elf say we believe in the transatlantic partnership, you're our partner but when push comes to should have, where are the europea and one of the things obama will be saying to mirk kel behind closed doors, we need more germans, we need more europe, we need you to step up to the plate because right now i think that europe is underperforming and they don't have a lot of political momentum, there are t leaders there who about to be ready to provide that political momentum and i think obama is anointing
11:15 pm
america el saying, come on, we need you. >> need you to do what? >> well, to lead on getting the global economy going. >> but how could germany could that. >> germany can do it -- >> it has an export economy, the most successful around except for china. >> mainly doing what is necessary to stabilize the zone. at the end of the day, the american government is fearful that, mber one, europe will be stuck in a sluggible recession and not contribute to global growth and even wse in they don't do wha is necessary to stabilize the euro, we will see a repeat of the -- >> uld she do that without political damage? >>o. and the obama administration wants germany to start consuming more andheis reluctant. >> and also in order to stimulate the global economy, saying if germans are given tax cuts and can buy more this is
11:16 pm
helpful, but we have an aging society, we need to -- this is the crux of the disagreement over economic policy between the u.s. and germany. >> and i think there's one other issue that is in play, and nobody has answered this, but, one interpretation is that, this is a phase in german politics, mirk sell weak, she will come back. another interpretation says we are witnessing a sea change in europe, a generational change. the european project is to some extent losing its resonce, for a 20-year-old, escaping the past, which is how you're justified doesn't moan that much so it's unclear if we're seeing a passinglip and europe and germany will recover or whether this is something more structural and germany may become the more normal power which could in the long run indite a need for a recapping. >> at one point there's a lot of
11:17 pm
competition. my impression is sarkozy has his own problems at ho and that no longer exists. >> the personal relation sp just is not there which is the real tragedy for europe. euro has only moved forward when the french and german leaders, whether you go back to de gaull, ship and fran saw meet ronald -- meteron, and the fact they don't get along together has hurt europe. >> cole was honored and his story is an amazing story of what onean did for germany, is it no the? >> absolutely. he had a vision and he dragged the krid along with him. i -- he dragged the country along with him. i remember i was covering germany fo"the washington post" and there was a great number of people against giving up the deutsch mark but he saw thisas necessary to win french support for germany and further
11:18 pm
integration of the european union. >> how is the president perceived in europe? >> the approximate the is still, i think, a very popular figure. there's disconte and disappointment with some of his policies. on guantanamo and climate change they feel obama has not lived up to expectations. the second beef you will hear, and this is less so today than a year ago, is that obama is not an -- he is not connected t europe in the same way his predecessors were. i think there's truth in that. in the first time he was a little inpatient with europe. he expected more troops for afghanistan and didn't get them. the so-called liz bon treaty was supposed to give more -- he got inpatient. >> and pay service to the notion of the east. >> very much so and i think there was orange i had talk of a g2, the u.s. and china.
11:19 pm
and obama and company went out on the world and found life difficult. it's hard to work with china, with indonesia, with turkey. and lo and behold they have turned the cner andome back to europe. i think that's exactly why obama spent a week in europe basically saying we still love you and now he has america el here for a state visit and the highest honor we and besw a foign leader. >> tha was a strategic challenge for the united states, how they can work together dealing with the ris of china, india and her powers. >> thank you for coming. pleasure to see you. >> back in a moment. stay with us. >> on the subject of our absolute fascination with technology, we take note that apple unveiled anoth ambitious initiative o monday. it's called icloud and it allows you you to share music, photos and files across apple devices wirelesses.
11:20 pm
steve jobs said services like icloud will bring us closer to a post pc era. >> we're going to demote the pc and mac to just being a device, like an iphone, ipad or ipod touch. and we're going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud. >> apple faces tough competition. amazon and google already offer similar music services. apple's earlier effort, mobile me, did not succeed. joining me now here in washington is walter mossberg, a personal technology columnist for "the wall street journal" and knows as much abo tse kinds of things as anyone i know and i'm always pleased to see him in person. >> hey charlie. >> tell me about this. what is the significance? does it mean the era of the pc is over as mr. jobs, your friend, suggested? >> well, i do think we're firmly in the post pc era and not just because of the icloud
11:21 pm
announcement. it's because the twices many of us are carrying are not traditional pc and replace what we used to do with traditional pc's but a big chunk of this is the cloud which in english mes big servers out on the internet where youcan store your data and access them on multiple devices b even apps can run off the servers so you don't have to physically have them on something like this. and as your intro pointed out, it's not just apple, it's tboog el and am done and microsoft and other companies that are racing to get there. >> have there been hiccups in the way the cloud has been developed? >> it's still developing in its fullest form. google is pushing in certain directions and now apple is pushing in certain directions. >> am done. >> most people don't know this but amazon has an enormous cloud business where they operate cloud based stuff for other
11:22 pm
companies and you don't even know it so they're very big in there that and then i think people are going to have to decide whether they feel thei uff is sure the cloud, if they c -- you have to trust google and apple and microsoft who whoer's service ?res meaning it will be secure and be there when you want it or meaning privacy issues? >> both. all of thosehings. apple's announcements even showed pictures these truly gintic buildings they built to house all of these servers. competitors have similar buildings and they're saying, we're encrypting everything, all of the stuff that you send will be encrypted. messages was one thing they pointed out in particular. so you know, i think it's kind of the second inning here in this transformation in the post pc era. the first inning was the
11:23 pm
hardware devices starting with the iphone and android phones and ipad which we have been here to talk about both of those. and now services, software, not just apple but everybody. >> once you have it in the cloud you can access it from any device. >> everybody has a little different system. apple's idea is you were music, your photos, as you pointed out in the intro, your documents, your contact, calendar all of that stuff goes up to the i crowdhing. the original version lives -- the hub of your life will be in the cloud. ile it is pmarily aimed at meeting together even more they're constantly finding ways for you to want all of their devices because they all work so seamlessly together that windows pc's are included. you put apple software that they right for wris. itunes runs on windows and
11:24 pm
that's a big aspect of this and other pieces of softwar and windows pc's can participate in this too. >> cod they have done it earlier? >> sure. they tried to do it earlier with mobile me, a more limited version. it eventually got to the point where it worked sort of ok but it wasn't exciting and different catch on. this is a much bigger initiative. mobile me cost a hundred bucks a year and this is free from almo all of it. >> jobs said this was not our finest hour. what says somhing about the fact that everything they do does not turn to gold and they can make a mistake so why do they scr this up? >> well, i was talking with somebody there about that today and this gets into the technical weeds and i don't necessarily know all of the details but this person told me it was not architected properly by some
11:25 pm
people who are no longer at apple. jobs got pretty man wit people like me give it back reviews and customers didn't like it so they changed their team -- >> par of that was in the arcle about how he came storming in. >> he particular i had menoned my riew. so you know, i han't reviewed this yet. most of it won't be out until the fall. it could stumble but he is promising they will get it right. >> larry schmidt said there was a platform war fight by apple, am done, google. tell me more about that? >> first, what is a ptform? a platform is software and sferses that companies provide that other companies can then
11:26 pm
write apps and programs and do things with. so we know -- they announced yesterday there are 425,000 apps now for i president and iphone, there are games and all kind of other things on the facebook platform. obviously google with android has a couple hundred thousand apps running on it and other kinds of things running on their other products so those are platforms. we had one other between windows and m. and now there is another platform war. these companies allo somethin different. ey kindf overlap in each other's areas. apple yesterday announced deep integration with at which timer. >> deep integration? that meanshe next version of the operating system that runs the iphone and the ipad and the ipod touch, withcy a very important thing for them
11:27 pm
right now, it will have twitter built in from the git-go. you sign in once on twilighter, anything on there, webpages, whatever -- >> so when will we have this. >> september. it's called ios 5. that's the name of the system on your iphone or ipad. >> so eric i right. now, he was given a little dig to microsoft because they were not included. and i asked one of the microsoft officials we interviewed at the conference the next morning and i said how did it feel to be left out of the gang of four. and he said anything called the gangf four dowrcht end well. >> steve jobs who reads what you say, watches you on television, where does he see the world going? >> he doesn't sre all of his vision with me or all ofis crets. >> because he's the most competitive person you know. >> and it has served him pretty
11:28 pm
well for the most part. but i think -- honestly, in the private conversations i he had with him, he says -- theeneral things he says are similar to what he ys in public. he does think we're in a post pc world. the mac is actually growing quite healthilly right now. >> but it's percentage of the market is -- >> yeah. i think he sees the world like a lot of these other companies eric schmidt mentioned see the world by is things will be out on the internet, either your data or your apps and you're going to get these sleek powerful devices in different sizes and shapes which don't require booting up and having antivirus and all of the stuff we have on computers and you're just going to be able to click in and do things. and he thinks he can be extremely competitive in that world in a way that his orange a.m. you know,
11:29 pm
competition with microsoft wasn't. >> what's the big idea that came out of that? >> write he a headline for your company. >> well, i think what people were calling local mobile social,withcy one seent of the cloud. >> what is local mobile social? >> it means you're walki around with a mobile device, which could be iphone or android windows phone or whatever. it knows your location. you can do social things. how many fends are neby. e-commerce. one of the things at the conference was google's new wallet where you can leave all of your credit cards at home if the merge manhattans and everything goes along and you will just wipe your phone. and it knows you're in the store and it will give you coupons and all. so when you get to the register,
11:30 pm
swipe the phone over a terminal and it will take all of those discounts. so local moral social. >> that's a big term. and the gang of four thing was talked about a lot at the conference. >> one more question. are we looking at the possibility, can the group upon ipo coming on of a technology bubble? >> that was another topic discussed and i will only repeat back what mark gleason said at the conference. mark invented the web browser when he was very young. he now calls himself grandpa. he advices a lot of interpret newers. he has sn a lot. he made a per situationive argue that there is -- when pple think there's a bubble there's not a bubble. the definition of a bble is when people are die lewded into thinking there is one. he started reading the pe ratios
11:31 pm
of unquestionably successful companies like google. and they wereelow what a normal ratio -- >> so he claims no. a lot of people worry. >> then you look at the under valleys of -- i mean it went way up afterwards suggesting it wasn't, by some peop, priced well. >> luckily for me i worry about the product and the trendsnd not the stock prices. >> joseph lelyveld and janna scott are here, pps winners are here and they a two n books out. one is called great sole and it consids the life of mahatma gandhi and the other is about barack obama's mother. i'pleased to have you you both
11:32 pm
re. >> thank you. >> if i was trying to find a common theme other than the two of you, and these are biogphies, is there anythi that we should say that suggests about the lives of these two people? >> it's a stretch. but there is an intesting point you can make an anne dunnham's work. she spent more than half of her adult life in indonesia working as an anthropologist and small finance and edit programs. and r big area was small industry facilities. a large part of the gandhis featured that, too. that focus on the possibility of small cottage industries being the base of a national economy. to some extent that was the sort of her work. >> it was a central i'd for him. it just never exactly took off. he wanted all of india to spin their own threads and wave their
11:33 pm
own clothes and he thought that would somehow revive the villages and it never could overcome the competition of manufacturedoods. he would have been thrilled and excited about the sort of work she and her colagues did and energize enterprise into how the village level. because it was something he strove for but never quite got to >> what attracted you to the subject tternd how did you try to get together and put together a narrative. >> i got on to it as i was reading biograpcalpieceson president obama during the campaign and half way through that meone pointed out h mother was interesting a i knew nothing about her and i saw a photograph with him in his 20's
11:34 pm
and her in her 40's and the juxtaposition was captivizing so i started writing and that piece ran four offer five months before he was -- she was the mother of a man who would later become president. so the added dimension is that she produced someone who is, you know in the very front of our consciousness now. so she was a great subject. and then it turned out, in terms of pursuing it, itas really sort of methodical journalistic exercise at moving through every chapter of her life that she had made some extraordinary chases that we barely glundz was it talking to people who knew her or was there a -- >> yes. there were qui a lot of letters.
11:35 pm
her field notes from h anthropology wor over a period of 20 years in indonesia so i had in effect her professional diaries which were a wolf glimpse into the way she looked at the world, the people that captured her imagination. then there was the ford foundation and i had old computer disks no one had been able to penetrate that i was able to give to a live and they give me the whole history of her medical crises in the last year of her life. >> she died of canser? >> yes. and it appears to be multiply mixed diagnosed. how can you say the man we know as president was clearly the son of that woman. >> the president said what his were profoundly shaped by his --
11:36 pm
she point out at an early age that she was destined for something great and she impresd on him a set of values she had acquired over a period of decades and she wanted had up to have those from the git-go had to do with hard work and workg for the opportunity for other people. >> what convinced her he would be a president. >> you know, i don't actually know. she said, she's so bright and bold, she can do anything except be president. i think he was brigh and precocious as a child. no qstion about it. put he must have seen something -- >> gandhi. how do you explore a man that all of us have known a lot about and there's been written a lot about? and why do you choose that subject? >> i chose that subject because i first encountered gandhi in
11:37 pm
south africa when i was a correspondent there a long, long time ago. and i visited the settlement that he founded outside of his area on the indian coast. wrote a litt piece for the times. my next assignment happened to be india. so funny way, i made the trip he made, come strik to india and it happened toss the centennial year of his birth. so i did a piece for "new york times" magazine, also ma years ago, about the state of gandhi in india. in that sense, it w my mind. then when i was thinking about things i could write about after i left the paper, it popped in to my mind as a way of gting back into these two countries, my two favorite assignments as a correspondent. but beyond that, i then had to sit myself down at the public brary and read for some months
11:38 pm
before i found a theme and an angle that made sense to me and then when i found it, i thought, this is new, nobody has ever hooked at gandhi this way. >> what was the theme? >> it's a common thing to say south africa shaped them, that ter 21 years there gandhi was pretty much the gawndy the world would come to know. but how it happens, the actual steps had never been clearly delineated as far as i could tell, and i thought they had a lot to do with his gradual approach to the question of social quality and social reform, dealing with the poorest indians in south africa. he came back with a set of values that were quite unusual and, in some ways counter cultural for india, and in the process of energizing the mass
11:39 pm
movement, which did, he created -- he turned the indian national movement from an elite kind of discussion group of lawyers into mass movement. he did that with remarkable speed t he tedto graft on the idea of social quality as it apply to the whole question of cats and the international movement. with that he was less successful. so if you follow him through to the end of his life, you discover gandhi, while the moveme results in indian independence, gandhi finds that values that were central to his message had been rejected by india. >> so where is the controversy coming? why are people saying -- that s to do with about four
11:40 pm
paragraphs in one chapter. i was writing about gandhi's rather close relationship with jewish architect in south africa gandhi and cal less than balk lived together for near i had four years. for st o that time, gandhi's wife was in another place, in another city. and there has been some kind of under ever tone about what kind of relationship is was. so i write in the several paragraphs that it would be easy to caricature this relationship and i quote a schar who described as homo erotic, not meaning homosexual but meang they were attracted to each other. and i played wh details to show how that character concreted. and then i said let's look at what they actually talked about and said, and i quoted all of
11:41 pm
the things they said about the need to repress physical urges and to not have aphrodisiacs in your diet and this was picked up -- it was the few pear graphs i was playing with of how easy it would be a caricature it were taken out of context, originally by an article in "the wall street journal." >> this is an draw roberts? >> yeah. he calls gandhi aexual wedo and this leads to a piece in the great londonhich says gandhi left wife for gay lover. >> that's the heline >> and this got to about 10,000 indian internet sites in about five minutes and wentiral. >> so what are the lessons of this, if any, for the
11:42 pm
biographer? >> well, perhaps the lessons is don't be so playful in your write. >> that's a serious question. thinking about the next bioyou could write -- >> i think it's clear to anybody that reads that without the whole investment in gandhi as the father of the nation of what i'm saying, that this is a very important and intimate relationship for gandhi but not sexual. >> without gandhi, what would have india have become. >> i think india would have become -- i think india would have lapsed into independence as the british weakened by the warp and the post war imhek state but would not have had the consciousness of itself as a nation that gandhi really did more than any other person to impart and how good was he as a
11:43 pm
stratest and technician? she was brilliant for particular campaigns and he was brilliant at cauring the country's information but he was not as successful, as the book attempts to show, in his -- he wasn't largely successful in his attempts to advance these values that were sential to his own self discovery. gandhi had a very interesting inner life, up like most of our complete dell leaders and saw a kind of relationship between how he could -- how he conducted himself and how the movement should go. it'sot mystical but he thought if he achieved a certain level of purity india would achieve balance and peacefulness that he
11:44 pm
desired to see. and well, that was a touching idea but it didn't -- it didn't quite take. except to the degree that in india today, i argue, that when you think of people who are trying to advance in these difficult areas, gandhitill stands ashe social conscious of india. >> the interesting thing about writing about the president's mother, it brings to mind the question, why didt he write a book called dreams from my mother. >> go you go back to the general it is of his book dreams of my father, th idea was brought to him by an agent at that time so it was in this moment of first black president so i thi it was cused perhaps partly because it's inception on his,
11:45 pm
the wrack side of his identity which ended up on his father. it's interesting to look at the articles written right after he was named president of the harvard law review, all of these profiles run in newspapers and increasingly they focused on the story of his african father, you know, son of a goat herder or whatever. and from then on, it sort of template was said. the shy girl who was bowled over by the charismatic african man d it wasicked up by the meet idea and picked up during -- as a result this whole 64 has been obscured but if you go back to the very beginning it had somethg to do with the beginning of the book. >> he has at least allowed the narrative to develop that he looks at the world different
11:46 pm
because of his own personal experices and she's a primary neuns onhat, isn't she? >> we think of that h meani cause i'm biracial, i understa the world in more nuanced way than the mono racial people do. but the interesting thing about r is that she saw the world there that way, the notion of reaching across distances perceived and real differences and distances involving culture, ethnicity or race or geography. >> if you had discovered this first, writing biographies would you have taken a different term in your literary career? >> i don't think so. >> it would always be complimentary. >> i think so. i ha a quite thrilling career,
11:47 pm
and thed in of spending my life in a rat hole doesn't -- i'm not the sort of person that will go out and look for anoer biographical subject because i have written one book. >> do youave another subject in mind? >> i have about eight others in mind. >>hat you haven't chosen. >> no. >> did this change your opinion? >> it deepened my administration for him. i had wondered why india wasn't more like gandhi and i to learn what that meant, and i ended up admiring tremendously his moral seriousness, a man who really wanted to change his society from the inside, from the bottom
11:48 pm
up, and who at the same time had this ideal of a life of selfless service. >> to take a vow of poverty and live at the level that the poorest people live, at least symbolically in order to -- in order to inculcate a sense of concern and effort >> if gandhi saw india today, he would be pleastly surprised? >> i think he sprised there are still 300 million people in an india that is growing so impressively, that produces such brilliant people, produces a whole new class of technology, billionaires and still can't deal withhe most basic problems of the society.
11:49 pm
and can we find in india today the kd of values beyond the nonviolent whether we find e nonviolence is another question. gand at e end of his life is aware of hiroshima and nag saki and said god save us from the mentality, 27 years later and india explode add bomb so that's not gandhian. there are probably millions of people in india who are deeply affected by gandhi-like values but there are 1.2 billion indians and if you have five million people who are deeply affected by values that's still -- >> back to barack obama, what did she do when you look at things tt were important in her retionship wit her son
11:50 pm
that we often focus on and say this made a critical difference because she was either wise enough or tough enough or. >> i think there's the values and the way she rayed them and then just the example of her life. in 1979, fore he became a community organizer she went to work on international development on a us aid project in an area in java and doing what the boss described as community organizing i javao he hadhis rely interesting example of his mother doing -- not unlike the work -- and this goes on. her work in microfinance. the whole underlying idea is not to tell people how to live their lives but to do the things they already know how to do and do it
11:51 pm
better. so i think there's the professional example and then there's the queson of what the values were that she went out of her way to impress upon him. >> did he not believe it was accurate to ll her a anyway each idealist? i asked him that wn i interviewed him cause there is a perception of her as if knots a hippy or flour child but a naive idealist and i felt it came from his book. so i asked him, did you think of her that way or do you? >> and he said i do a i did t not as a pejorative. he said he felt her --he described her as enormously smart and sophisticated in her work, that she did have this resilience, this sort of idealistic resilience that louded tore bounce back from extraordinary hardships that you uld have flattened another person so he ds embrace that. and then athe end of the
11:52 pm
interview, he described remembering her on the night of the iowa caucuses and her coming to mind because he wished she could have been there. and i said what was it about that night? and he said, there was something about this scene and the caucus site he went to in des moines with eccentric looking people and that reminded him of this spirit that there's more similarity and indifference in all of us and more good than evil and possibility to connect and he said, i suppose that's really the naivety and idealism that i'm talking about and it's the idealism in me. >> did she once say in your interview that she sort of thought of him as some combination of albert einstein, mahatma gandhi and harry bell afon take? >> you found the connection? >> he said -- he said, you know, i have said that my mother raised me to be a combination of albert einstein, mahatma gandhi
11:53 pm
and harry belafonte. >> what questions do you still have about her? >> i would like to understand their relationship better. she sat down on january 1985, she is in her 40's, in hawaii, and she moved back with her daughter and she wrote a list o long-term goals. and they start off with,ou know, finish your ph.d. which she was logging in her 15th year or so, you know, lose weight, some interesting things i had not expected, remarry another culture, raise amaya well, her daughter, and further down the list, continue constructive dialogue with barry. he was in his early 20's then and any mother would want a constructive dial with their son but there are other indications that suggest that she was aware of a distance between them that bothered her. now, whether that was inevitable or whether that was the product
11:54 pm
of the way she raised him, allowing large distances to occur and he grew up partly in hawaii with her parents wh she was working in indonesia and i would like to understand their relationship better. >> i thought of another connection. what makes gandhi is that he lived for 20 years in another country and in another culture and he comes back to india with ne eyes and in a certain sense anne experience in java gives her son somethingf that sense of the world and an ability to look at his own country with a kind of object activity tt aldon't have. >> i think you can see that today. he is not -- he -- i always thought it was an unfair criticism. he is willing to look at the united states, you know, and say we're not a perfect nation ask we made this mistake, and the critics from opposite political party who disagree with him
11:55 pm
always say, gee, you know, it's demeaning for him to apologize for the country, and in my sense he was able to see the country in a larger perspective, not because of his own experience in others. and anthropologists who knew anne dunnham told me a similar thing about her. he wou say people always said she's becoming more indonesian. he said never become -- by living in a place like that you understand your american values in a different way. and somebody else told me it's a mistake to see her as a person who truly became them. she was always, as this guy said, one of us, but she had an appreciation for them that many of us don't. >> this ok is called "a singular woman, the untold story of barack obama's mother" and erse he i athat age? one inasmuch, two? and then mahatma gandhi andis struggle with india.
11:56 pm
captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.orghe >> funding for charlie row has been provided by the coca-cola company, supporting this program since 2002. >> and american express. >> additional funding provided by these funders >รท
11:57 pm
11:58 pm
11:59 pm